Polish Gingerbread {Piernik}

Piernik [pye-rnyeek] is a cake often served around Christmas time in Poland. This, along with apple cake were always served for dessert after a holiday meal in my home. Even though I was full from just have eaten a week’s worth of food, there is always room for this dessert.

It’s soft and aromatic with cinnamon, ginger, allspice and cloves coming through, and also a bit citrus flavor of orange zest and marmalade added to the dough. Dark chocolate glaze adds complexity to the mix and makes our taste buds even happier… who doesn’t like chocolate?! This combination of flavors really makes me think of the holiday season and miss being close to home even more. I will be making it several times between now and the end of the winter, thus feeling closer to home.

Polish Gingerbread {Piernik}

  • Prep Time: 25 min
  • Cook Time: 60 min


  • 2 tbs of honey
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 2 tsp of cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp of ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp of ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp of ground allspice
  • 1/8 tsp of ground cardamom (if you have)
  • 2 tbs of plum / strawberry / currant (or other favorite fruit) butter / marmalade
  • Zest of 1/2 orange
  • 2 eggs
  • 9 tbs / 125g of butter
  • 1 cup / 250 g of granulated sugar
  • 1 cup / 250 ml of milk
  • 2 cups / 300 g of flour
  • 1 tsp of baking soda
  • 2 tsp of baking powder
  • A pinch of salt
  • Additionally:
  • A few tablespoons of plum / strawberry / currant (or other favorite fruit) butter / marmalade
  • Glaze:
  • 1/2 cup of whipping cream
  • 3.5 oz / 100 g of dark chocolate


  1. In a small sauce pan place honey, marmalade, orange zest and spices and heat through. Set aside to cool.

  2. In a large mixing bowl beat butter and sugar. Add eggs one by one and then honey mixture once it has cooled off, and milk. Stir well.

  3. Preheat oven to 350°F / 180°C. Line a bread loaf pan with parchment paper.

  4. Mix flour with baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add flour to sugar/butter mixture gradually and let combine well.

  5. Transfer mixture into loaf pan and bake for 50-60 min, or until inserted toothpick comes out clean.

  6. Cool bread completely before slicing in half horizontally from end to end. Spread marmalade onto the bottom part and return the top back onto the marmalade*.

  7. To make the glaze, heat cream in a small sauce pan. Remove from heat broken up chocolate. Mix until melted and smooth. Cool glaze slightly before pouring over ginger bread.


* you can skip this step, and spread some marmalade on each slice before serving.

Enjoy and smacznego!




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  1. Hi Anna
    Reading the Polish Gingerbread recipe, I noticed it reads 1 tsp of baking powder and then 2 tsp of baking powder. I’m assuming one of them is baking soda. Which one?
    Love your recipes. I have some from my mother but tweak them after checking yours out.

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